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Futuristic technology to be unveiled at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show

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The 2013 Jaguar F-Type is among the production models to be revealed at the Los Angeles Auto Show.


by Jason Rzucidlo



LOS ANGELES -- Google has spent the last three years and $2 million in testing autonomous vehicles--automobiles that can drive entirely on their own. In September, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation approving the use of these vehicles on roads throughout the state. Why? Autonomous vehicles are expected to be safer than those currently being driven by humans. Although we probably won't see any of these type of cars at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show, we are expecting to see the technology behind them on prominent display.

"The convergence of technology and the automobile is a huge story for the industry," said Brendan Flynn, Communications Director of the Los Angeles Auto Show. "L.A. being the hub of technology, we're showing some interest in that area. For the first time, we have a special showcase called the Advanced Technology Showcase. It's going to be featuring some major players like Intel, Qualcomm, Telenav, Sprint and a few other big players to talk exactly about that, the connected car. Not full autonomous vehicles, but vehicles communicating with each other and structures. I think the future of the automobile and autonomous vehicles are coming much faster than some people are anticipating."

How many new car introductions can we look forward to seeing in L.A. this year?

"The auto industry seems to have come back, at least in North America," Flynn explained. "We're definitely noticing a difference. We're going to have 45 to perhaps 50 debuts this year. A good 25 of those are going to be real, world debuts. The automakers are pulling out all of the stops and are bringing great, new product. Of course, L.A. has always had a lot of concept cars. I think it's going to be exciting. There's a lot of optimism and excitement about the North American market. You're going to be able to feel that energy at the show with the debuts and the exhibit properties and the theatrics of the debuts on press days and the giveaways and promotions happening on public days. It's going to be a great year for the L.A. Auto Show and car sales."

Can you go over some of those concept cars that will be displayed?

"We'll have some that we've seen at other places around the world like the Acura NSX and the Lexus LFCC," he added. "Really, we're going to see production car debuts. Acura has a new RLX, Fiat is going to be coming out with three: the 500L, the electric 500E and then they are coming out with the Abarth cabriolet. We always get a lot of luxury cars in L.A. as well. Jaguar is rolling out the F-Type, they also have another world debut they've yet to announce. Land Rover has their next generation Range Rover. I expect to see a lot more debuts. Bentley has a big debut. KIA has a couple of debuts--one being the Forte sedan. Mazda is coming out with their new Mazda6 and VW is bringing the Volkswagen Beetle convertible."

I heard that GM is releasing 13 new or redesigned models. Have you heard how many of those will be shown at the L.A. Auto Show?

"General Motors will have at least two debuts that I know of now, perhaps a third in L.A."

Do you think there will be more alternative energy vehicles than last year?

"Absolutely. We're seeing at the show probably 20 vehicles that fall into the all-electric or plug-in electric category," the communications director said. "Really, what the big trend right now is the advancement of your traditional four-cylinder, internal combustion engine. I guess I really shouldn't say traditional because they're so advanced now. They're delivering amazing performance and they're turbocharged, but some people can't even tell they're turbocharged because they're so smooth. We're seeing tons of vehicles that are achieving over 40 mpg with these new, advanced four-cyclinders. Diesel is another story that is really taking off this year. You're going to see more and more diesel products coming out of primarily the German manufacturers, but soon coming done the line form the domestic and Asian manufacturers. I think 20 percent of the Porsche Cayenne sales are diesel and a huge percentage of a lot of Volkswagen's Sport Wagons, all of their TDI products, a big percentage of their sales."

How many vehicles are participating in the ride-and-drive for the media?

"In previous years, the ride-and-drive has been focused on green vehicles, which is always a big topic in L.A.," Flynn explained. "The convergence of technology has become a huge story so it's now called the Green & Advanced Technology ride-and-drive. This is a press days only ride-and-drive. We're going to see vehicles that have not only great fuel economy, but some near autonomous features--cars that stop themselves if you don't apply the brakes before an obstacle comes in your way or cars that will nudge you back into your lane. We're probably going to have a dozen vehicles that fall into the electric, plug-in, hybrid and diesel category. Volkswagen is going to be demonstrating some of it's bi-diesel research and testing that they've been doing."

What about the ride-and-drive for the public show days?

"Our consumer ride-and-drive is totally separate. I think this is going to be our biggest year for consumer ride-and-drive. We're probably going to have 14 or 15 brands participating maybe 50 different cars for the public to come out and drive."

What is planned for Designer's Night activities?

"Design is always a big theme at the L.A. Auto Show," the communications director said. "There are 16 advanced design studios here in the southern California region. It's really the biggest gathering of design industry professionals. We have 1,200 to 1,500 design professionals on press days. Every year, the top design studios go head-to-head to see who can come up with the best design based on that particular year's theme. This year's is designing the highway patrol car of the future for 2025. We have seven studios going head-to-head. They are going to be presenting their designs live at the show during a presentation. They get up there and they compete to see who is the best. We have a panel of judges. The winners will be announced at the famous Conga Room at L.A. Live. We get about 500 to 600 designers to come to that every year."

Can you go down the list of awards that will be presented at the L.A. Auto Show?

"Nielsen Automotive does their Green Marketer of the Year award," he added. "Ron Cogan and the Green Car Journal will present their Green Car of the Year award. Those are probably a couple of the biggest. Automobile has an award--they present their All Star award. The Motor Press Guild is going to be doing their Vehicle of the Year award again. The list goes on."

For those attending the public days for the first time, what should they know?

"They should really start with our website, that's a great first place to start," Flynn explained. "We've designed a whole new website this year that has a better events page. They can go check out what's happening that day. Everything from musical performances to celebrity appearances to autograph signings. They can check out what's happening the day they can go. We also have discounts and coupons for various days online. There's so much to see. You have to plan for at least two hours at a minimum to see the show. That's if you're moving at quite a clip. It's good to pick out what you want to see and kind of have a game plan going. There's lots of videos on our site that give you a flavor of what to expect whether it's ride-and-drives or going down into the aftermarket hall, which is tons of fun. The Kid's Fun Zone is free for all kids coming to the show."

What can folks expect to see in the aftermarket section of the auto show?

"It's an amazing section of the show to visit," the communications director said. "You never know what to expect down there. Of course, we always have great displays from Galpin Auto Sports and they are the largest Ford dealership in the world. But they also have their Galpin Auto Sports, which is their aftermarket area. They always come out with some wild concepts. We also have some of the top tuners in the luxury and exotic category. Platinum always has some super, high-dollar vehicles down there that they've tuned. DUB is always down their with their custom cars. It's always a learning experience for me every time I go down there."

The city of Los Angeles has given the green light for the new Farmer's Field. How is that going to affect the auto show?

"We don't really know. According to the plan, it should all be positive," he said. "If in fact it goes through and there's a team that goes to L.A., they would significantly upgrade the convention center. They would do it in a way that would first add on to the South Hall and open that up before they demolish the West Hall. It shouldn't impact the exhibit area--it should only improve it. There might be some difficulties for the guys that have to move the stuff in and drive the big trucks on the loading dock. For the exhibitors and the manufacturers and the consumers, they shouldn't really notice anything other than a really cool, new facility being built."

Is that something that could happen next year or is it more than a few years off before that happens?

"I don't think so. I think it's probably a few years away. It has been approved by the city, but AEG is selling the entire company so they have to find a new buyer. Then, they still need to lock in a new team."

For more information or to purchase tickets to the Los Angeles Auto Show, visit


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The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover will be introduced at the L.A. Auto Show.


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The 2013 Volkswagen E-Bugster convertible will make its debut in Los Angeles.


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The 2014 Mazda6 will debut at the L.A. Auto Show next month.


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The 2014 KIA Forte will be revealed in Los Angeles.


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The Acura NSX concept will also be displayed at the L.A. Auto Show.


[ Click here for more coverage of the Los Angeles Auto Show ]

Visit the official website of the Los Angeles Auto Show


The Los Angeles Auto Show has the rare distinction of being recognized by the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d'Automobiles (OICA), one of only two in the U.S.




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Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved.
Unauthorized duplication or use of Text, Photos, Videos, Site Template, Graphics and or Site Design is Prohibited by Federal and International laws. See our Notice/Disclaimer.